There are 86,400 seconds in a day…and it takes just one to say “thank you”
Too often in fundraising, we blame a lack of “time” for our failure to do something, when really it is a lack of planning that is the problem.
While most of you will plan for things like direct mail campaigns and events, how many plan your thanking?
Failing to appropriately give thanks to our volunteers, sponsors and donors can have dire consequences. An effective thank you program that acknowledges the contributions made by both financial and non financial supporters, not only mitigates the risk, it has the power to take your fundraising program to the next level. When supporters of your cause feel appreciated and valued, you have a better chance of retaining and growing their support in the future.
To build your thank you program, you need to say
The immense power of carefully planned thanking was revealed to one of our clients recently when a small donation was followed by an $850,000 pledge. By making a few changes to their administration processes and gaining the cooperation of their CEO in the thanking process, our client has greatly increased their income potential.
So how do you go about:
- Finding better ways to thank your supporters?
- Putting a formal thanking structure in place?
- Working out ways to free up your time so you can thank more often?
Workshopping with your team is a great place to start, but you may also need a third party perspective to formulate the most effective plan. Engaging the help of key stakeholders (including supporters well known to you) or an expert like OKP (we are a phone call, email or tweet away) will help you be more creative and targeted in your approach.
Once you have developed a plan, thanking will become a natural part of your everyday activities and not something that requires great effort or attention.
There really is no excuse to put off saying “thank you” ….
No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks.
Saint Ambrose (~337-397), Bishop of Milan